New Delhi: International public finance flows from developed to developing countries critical for urgent action on climate change, says India at the 24thConference of Parties (CoP) on climate change at Katowice in Poland.

In a discussion paper, ‘3 Essential ‘S’ of Climate Finance - Scope, Scale and Speed: A Reflection’ released on sidelines of the ongoing conference, the Ministry of Finance called for more credible, accurate and verifiable numbers on the exact size of climate finance flows from developed to developing countries.

One of the major tasks before the 24th CoP is to finalize the implementation guidelines for 21st Paris CoP, in which finance is a key component. The developed countries had committed to $100 billion per annum for climate adaptation and mitigation by 2020.

While the funds are yet to be fully disbursed, there has been a continuing lack of clarity on how this climate finance should be defined and accounted, as serious concerns have been raised over self-reporting by the developed country parties.

The report cites a ‘roadmap to US $100 billion’ published by the developed countries in 2016, which claimed that public climate finance levels had reached $41 billion per year in 2013-14.However, a government of India Discussion Paper in 2015 noted that the only credible number is $ 2.2 billion in 2013-14, taking into account country disbursements of actual climate finance on a concessional basis.

“The definitions of climate change finance used in various reports were not consistent with the UNFCCC provisions and the methodologies used were also questionable," stated the report, highlighting that till 2017, only around 12 per cent of total pledges to multilateral climate funds have actually materialized into disbursements.

Underlining the need for a robust accounting framework for transparent reporting of climate finance, it states “modalities for accounting of financial resources cannot be at the discretion of a particular country."

The report also contends that “the value of climate finance flows must be counted as actual disbursements of such finance crossing borders in a particular year and not as multi-year promises, pledges, and/or other indefinite commitments."

Even as developing countries are racing against time to decarbonize their economies and shift to renewable energy, the Ministry states that the climate finance goal of $100 billion is a meagre amount in size in contrast to the actual needs assessed for developing countries in trillions of dollars, “We have to be much more serious in this business. Climate finance targets need to be set high in order for climate justice to be delivered for poorer countries and future generation," it stated.

While developing countries like India have been taking many actions against climate change and adapting to its adverse effects best to their own abilities and national circumstances, they have to be supported by climate finance flows from developed countries.

“It is time for the developed countries to wake up and take note of the huge challenge faced by the developing countries for mobilization and provision of financial resources," stated the report.

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